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Re: Grinding to a halt on Issue 27.

From: Rick Jelliffe <ricko@topologi.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2003 14:24:29 +1000
Message-ID: <025701c30ed0$65a47910$4bc8a8c0@AlletteSystems.com>
To: <www-tag@w3.org>

"Roy T. Fielding" wrote

> Please don't tell me this is an anglo-centric view.  The people I
> live and work with who are most vocal on this viewpoint are chinese,
> including my fiancee, who have to deal with such interoperability
> problems on a regular basis in order to communicate with relatives.

For that matter, my partner is also a kind of Chinese and also has to deal
with interoperability problems to communicate with relatives, thought this
is much less now that OS are using Unicode.  Tough luck! 
The inconvenience of a tiny diaspora should not impede progress at home.

How will it improve interoperability to either wait for everything else
to improve? If everyone does that, nothing will ever move forward,
but that is the point isn't it?  Fundamentally it comes down to a denial
that Asians need to use Asian characters, a denial not as a matter
of nastiness or supremicism, but one from a world view that it
is better to have a deficient-but-level-and-interoperable playing field
than to sacrifice global interoperability; however this in fact creates
an unlevel playing field.  

Chinese (or people with tonal languages) cannot transliterate to ASCII
and retain comprehensibility.  This issue is, of course, even more complex
now that the internationalized domain name system is out: so now we
have one method of references for XML, one for URLs and yet another
for domain names.  

If there are four possibilities for namespace URIs, it seems to me:

 * anyURI: allow any kind of delimiting
 * URI: ASCII only
 * no-delimiter IRI: force people to type in real character
 * no-delimiter anyURI: nominally no-delimiter IRIs, but delimiters can be accepted
  for error correction.

I think the fourth is the best option: the expectation is that people will type in
the literal characters (or XML character references) and there will be a
Character-by-Character comparison, but it won't complain if people slip
up and type in a URI or delimiters (just comparison may break).

Rick Jelliffe
Received on Wednesday, 30 April 2003 00:20:45 UTC

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